If there is one food I could eat myself to death with it would have to be chocolate chip cookie dough. Every time I make cookies, it is truly a test of my will to not over indulge. All I have to say is thank goodness it is possible to make chocolate chip cookies sans animal products. And with a few extra touches, these guys offer a fair amount of fiber, omega-3’s, and protein.
My first experimenting with vegan chocolate chip cookies was with a recipe from The Joy of Baking. They were a huge success—my aunt and uncle would moan at me, “Melissa! Why must you tempt us!”
My original reasons for becoming and vegetarian and later a vegan were for long term health. But the more a read, the more I realized how my food choices have much larger consequences than a little extra body fat or a higher risk of cancer . It is not just my health, but the health of the environment, animals, and fellow humans that are effected by my individual choices.
The more I read and learn, the more I come to understand how incredibly cruel conventional farming is. I sometimes wonder if the general public saw first hand the on goings of factory farms and slaughterhouses, if they would still chose to eat unethically raised meat. Even Julia Child, a huge foodie and active criticizer of vegetarian lifestyles ruled out veal after going to a veal factory.
I think one indicator of the health of a society is how well they treat their animals. As I watched this video by John Robbins, I couldn’t help but think, “What kind of world do we live in where this the excepted norm.” I also think about my dog. She is just as much an animal as a pig, cow, chicken, etc. yet I would never allow for her to be treated so inhumanely. Take a 2 1/2 minutes and watch this video. Every time we buy unethically raised food, this is what we vote for.
One day, shortly after moving to Arizona, I was scrubbing my shower with some heavy duty chemicals. A few minutes later, I was on my hands and knees in the hallway dizzy, gagging, eyes on fire. It made me think, “Whatever it is in those cleaning chemicals that kills germs, is also seeking to kill me!” Bleach is as much a toxin as it is a cleaner. It is linked to respiratory infections, headaches, nervous system damage, vomiting, and some may even be linked to some forms on CANCER. Ugh, thanks, but I’ll take my chances with the critters on my counter.
I have replaced bleach containing products with this super fancy, super expensive, super eco/human friendly product called….vinegar. Wait a minute, vinegar isn’t fancy or expensive! White distilled vinegar is an excellent household cleaner and it won’t make you sick or broke! Another amazing benefit is that it won’t harm your child if they accidentally ingest it or inhale too much of it (can you think of a better reason to get rid of bleach?) I always have a squirt bottle of vinegar water on hand. I’ve been compared to the crazy dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding who thinks Windex can fix anything (the vinegar version of him). Here are a few different ways to use it:
I’m currently obsessed with these. They make a fantastic evening snack or add a nice crunch to a salad. They are extremely simple and easily adaptable.
When I first began spending time with my now husband, I showed him this list of goals I had made. I guess you could call it a bucket list. It included places I want to travel, educational goals, dreams of a family, skinny dipping with my husband (check), and other ambitions such as, “learn how to rock climb.” At the time, I was busy working towards several of the things on the list but this rock climbing thing was sort of holding me back. I kept saying I wanted to do it but I continued to put it off.
What I came to realize that if there is something that I say I want to do, but am not actively working towards doing it, then I probably don’t want to do it that bad. Are you tracking? I hadn’t tried rock climbing at that point because my heart wasn’t fully set on trying rock climbing. It was no loss. My heart wasn’t there yet.
Just as I’ve never been huge into warming up, I’ve also never been crazy about stretching after workouts. I know it is important but I’m sort of a “go-go-go” type of gal (Yoga has really stretched me in this area–no pun intended) and slowing down to stretch has not always been on my priority list. Also, I’m often really hungry when I finish a run and my recovery smoothie typically wins out over my tight muscles.
Since leaving my full time job, I no longer have an “excuse” for not giving my muscles a little TLC after a workout. Instead of feeling like I have to choose one or the other–food or stretching–I now see eating and stretching as two parts of the same whole–recovery. Recovery is just as important, if not more so, than the actual workout. This is when your muscles begin to repair themselves so you can go at it again the next day. So, if I’m feeling overtaken by hunger when I get in the door, I make a smoothie and begin stretching as I drink it.